Senior bowling games breed fellowship with competition

Sunday, June 22, 2008 | 10:49 p.m. CDT; updated 4:23 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — AMF Town and Country Lanes was full of competitors for the Missouri State Senior Games. The men and women’s doubles and singles competitions were held Saturday, and the mixed doubles and team games were held Sunday.

Seniors said they took part in the competition for a variety of reasons. Some hoped to qualify for the National Senior Games during the first two weeks of August 2009 in San Francisco. Others just wanted to make friends, while some simply enjoyed the time with their spouses.

Bowlers came from all over the state, while others like Edward Logan, 79, traveled from Leawood, Kan., to compete. He has bowled for the past 19 years. Logan came to the games because when “you’re retired, you’re looking for things to do,” he said.

He competed with his wife, Estell Logan, 77, in the mixed doubles event Sunday. Logan said that after 57 years of marriage, everything he does is done with his wife.

“At this stage of the game that’s your partner every time,” he said.

For Estell Logan bowling presents a great opportunity to get out and mingle.

“We meet people, and we didn’t know anybody and made all these friends. It’s been great,” she said.

Ed Hinderberger, a 63-year-old who has spent the past 42 years in Columbia, said he loves to compete. Being part of the Senior Games is his opportunity to advance to the National Senior Games.

“Anyone that does this has to do it for the competition because there is no money in it,” he said.

When he travels to tournaments he has to think about the price of lodging, food and the cost of gas. The high cost of commuting has had a negative effect on this year’s competition according to Senior Games bowling commissioner Donna Wagner.

“There are a lot of people who don’t travel,” Wagner said. “Some people can’t afford the opportunity (to compete) unless they car pool.”

Estell Logan said, “You hate to see it start falling apart, especially a year like this, which is a qualifier.”

There were 22 pairs for the mixed doubles, while 95 men and women competed in the singles competition the day before. Despite the rise of gas prices, there was still a consistency to the number of friendly faces who showed.

“Some people come every year and see each other. It’s like a family reunion,” Wagner said.

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